The attitude of some PSG players is becoming a concern for the club report L’Équipe.
Notably, Brazilian forward Neymar’s attitude has drawn the ire of the PSG hierarchy this season. For an engagement with sponsors in the autumn, the sports daily say, Neymar arrived late and unfocused. The club wanted to sanction the player but feared the situation being leaked and eventually passed his lateness off as indecision over whether he should take a Covid test.
Neymar isn’t the only one. Earlier, two teammates turned up late to training still tired from the night before and chose not to train without seeking the approval of the coaching staff. This allegedly happened again a few weeks later as Lionel Messi and Leandro Paredes were allowed to miss training. Officially, this was blamed on gastroenteritis but it seems a gathering to celebrate Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or triumph the night before at a venue in Paris’ eighth arrondissement was the cause. This upset some of their teammates after various PSG players attended the event.
Ill-discipline, double standards and even a hint of unprofessionalism seem common within a famously fractious squad split into two groups roughly defined by language. Mauro and Wanda Icardi were seen arguing in the PSG training ground car park before their martial issues became public in the autumn. Mauro was later allowed to fly back to Italy and take a few days off without authorising his reduced working time (RTT or paid leave) which saw him miss the Champions League game with RB Leipzig in October and annoy some of his colleagues.
Sergio Ramos, meanwhile, has been surprised since his arrival that squad collective lunches are not compulsory. Issues with squad birthday parties have also been difficult to handle for the club for some time too with Neymar’s infamous birthday parties and a joint party for Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria most notably drawing headlines. Although this has, of course, been far less of an issue during the pandemic.